Move to Florida and start your day with a glass of fresh-squeezed juice from your backyard citrus tree. It sounds easy, but when trying to grow citrus, many people realize it’s a lot trickier than one might think.
“Fifteen or more years ago, everyone had orange or tangerine or lemon trees in their backyard,” says Bill Etzel, president of the Collier County Fruit Growers Council. “Today, when people ask me about what citrus to plant, I tell them don’t do it.”
Still, at the Collier County Fruit Grower Council’s plant sales, citrus is the first plant to sell out, even with the “grow at your own risk” warnings that come with them.
Richard Wilson, a certified citrus grower and owner of Excalibur Fruit Trees, which grows, sells, and installs citrus across the southern half of Florida, acknowledges the challenges these citrus trees face, but is confident that backyard growers can find success.